For a test setup, it may be useful to install VMware ESXi in a QEMU-KVM guest. If, like me, you're using libvirt (using virt-manager) to manage your VMs, here's some information to get this set up. I'm using Fedora 22, and ESXi 5.5.0.
There are other posts explaining how to set this up, but I wanted to share my experience, which is specific to virt-manager, and the newer QEMU.
Here's a step-by-step procedure for getting this working.
Add required KVM kernel module parameters:
- Edit (or create)
/etc/modprobe.d/kvm-intel.confto look like this:
options kvm ignore_msrs=1 options kvm-intel nested=y ept=y
- Remove the KVM module and re-load it with the new parameters:
# modprobe -r kvm-intel kvm; modprobe kvm kvm-intel
Setup ESXi VM guest configuration:
- Create your ESXi VM using virt-manager.
- Change the NIC to
vmxnet3. You'll have to manually type this in; it won't be in the drop-down.
- You'll need at least 2 GiB of RAM. (During install it actually came back with:
<MEMORY_SIZE ERROR: This host has 2.00 GiB of RAM. 3.97 GiB are needed>
- Edit the config for this VM (named "esxi-test" here):
# virsh -c 'qemu:///system' edit esxi-test
- Edit the first line of the XML file to be:
<domain type='kvm' xmlns:qemu='http://libvirt.org/schemas/domain/qemu/1.0'>
- Change the CPU type:
- Add this block anywhere inside of
<qemu:commandline> <qemu:arg value='-machine'/> <qemu:arg value='vmport=off'/> </qemu:commandline>
- Save and quit
In dmesg, I see kvm spewing these messages, which probably have to do with ignroe_msrs:
kvm : vcpu0 ignored rdmsr: 0x34 kvm : vcpu0 ignored rdmsr: 0x34
ESXi 6.0.0 Notes:
I tried to use ESXi 6.0.0, but it didn't seem to find a network card, even though I specified
vmnet3. These notes apply to 6.0.0:
- Note that the installer appears to hang at "user loaded successfully." for about 110 seconds. "Running nfcd start" also takes a while. I have no idea why.
- Notes on getting VMware ESXi to run under KVM (rwmj.wordpress.com) - The patch to QEMU is no longer necessary; as of at least 2.3.1, QEMU accepts the option:
-machine vmport=offto accomplish the same. (Here's the patch adding the option.)
- ESXi inside KVM (communities.vmware.com) - This is the original thread where people managed to figure this out.
- Install and run a full functional VMware ESX Hypervisor within a KVM virtual machine (mattinaction.blogspot.com) - Another blog post explaining the same
- How to pass QEMU command-line options through libvirt (blog.vmsplice.net)
- Enabling Virtual Machine Control Structure Shadowing On A Nested Virtual Machine (software.intel.com) - Even though my CPU doesn't support nested VMCS, this was still useful, and provided the clue to use